Women and Their Ink

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The Huffington Post featured an article last year entitled “The Secret Lives Of Tattooed Women” where Claire Fallon wrote about the societal climate of women with tattoos, how its viewed by the general public and how having tattoos effects women’s lives. It’s an interesting and well written article, but does it accurately represent its subject matter or is it just one person’s experience?

One of the main points of the article pertains to the treatment of women with visible tattoos. Fallon cites Beverly Yuen Thompson, stating “transgressive behavior, like visible tattoos, only encourages unwanted touching,” in order to back up here own personal experience of strangers grabbing her arm to ask if her fake arm tattoos – which she put on as an experiment – were real. Was she approached this way because she was a woman or because she was sporting fake tattoos in an attempt to illicit a response from people?

The fact of the matter is that tattoos on women – and men for that matter – are more sociably acceptable than ever before. On average, more women have tattoos than men nowadays. Sure, “women tend to stick to the ‘small, cute and hidden’ tattoos”, but is that really a matter of social acceptability? Visible tattoos are still largely considered taboo in the workplace, and even men trend towards getting hidden tattoos for that very reason.

Tattoos can accentuate the feminine form in a way most men can only be jealous of. The women featured below look anything but socially isolated or like they face “societal judgement” as Fallon claims. They look empowered, sure, and self-confident. Isn’t it just as true that tattoos, for most of us, are bridges to our own development, health and growth.

Sure, some people are still stuck in the past and view tattoos in a negative light for various ignorant reasons, but we prefer to look towards the future, which is clearly bright and more understanding for tattoo artists and enthusiasts the world over regardless of whether you’re male or female. Self-expression IS self-empowerment, and ours may be the first generation in human history to embrace both on a mass scale. And that’s worth celebrating!


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